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Florida's No. 1 Trade Partner is Brazil

Embraer sends aircraft parts to Brazil from its Fort Lauderdale facility.

Nearly $16 billion in goods passed between Florida and Brazil in 2010 — twice as much as with the state's No. 2 trading partner, Colombia.

Driving that is Brazil's $1.9-trillion GDP, making it the world's No. 5 economy.PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts that Brazil's GDP will pass Germany's in 2025. The top Florida-origin export to Brazil in 2010 was aircraft and aircraft parts. Much of that trade involved Embraer, one of the world's largest aviation companies. With its U.S. headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and a newly opened aircraft plant in Melbourne, there is a constant flow of parts. Florida also exports technology components and products to Brazil, as well as agricultural fertilizers.

The numbers capture only trade in goods. Florida companies of all sizes are doing business in Brazil. Two-year-old Davna Enterprises, for instance, acts as a liaison between international and U.S. firms on construction and transit projects.

Florida's Leading Export Markets
(all exports, not just Florida-origin)

» Brazil, $13.76 billion (up 30% from 2009). Florida is sending Brazil mostly technology — from consumer tech to aircraft — and fertilizer.

» Switzerland, $5.01 billion (up 56%). As recently as 2007, exports to Switzerland were valued at only $541 million. The country has zoomed to No. 2 on the back of rising trade in scrap precious metal. The recession has seen a great deal of silver and gold moving out of the U.S. and out of Latin America through Miami.

Fertilizer is a top Florida export to Brazil.

» Venezuela, $4.53 billion (up 2%). Despite a difficult business environment under President Hugo Chavez and currency restrictions that make it difficult for companies to repatriate profits, Florida continues to export telecommunications parts and equipment, automobile parts and medical equipment to Venezuela.

» Colombia, $4.46 billion (up 19%). According to Tech-America, nearly half of the U.S.-made high-tech goods exported to Colombia originate in Florida. The bulk of exports are tech goods, transportation equipment, aerospace products, medical devices and machinery. Enterprise Florida predicts the state's annual exports of goods and services to Colombia will rise by $532 million if Congress passes a free trade agreement with Colombia.

» Chile, $3.17 billion (up 19%). Florida's top exports to Chile are computing equipment, cell phones and aircraft parts.

Leading Import Markets

» China, $6.68 billion (up 30%). Top imports are goods like handbags, wallets and suitcases. Close behind are cell phones, computers and computer parts.

» Japan, $5.62 billion (up 46%). Japan is the top source of foreign direct investment in the state ($4.16 billion in 2010); cars and trucks make up 76% of what Florida imports.

» Colombia, $3.12 billion (up 24%). Florida's gold imports from this nation are worth more than twice as much as cut flowers, the state's No. 2 Colombia import. The Miami Customs District is No. 1 in the nation for gold imports.

» Mexico, $3.10 billion (up 43%). Florida imports as much gold from Mexico as from Colombia. Rounding out the top three are cell phones, telecom equipment and automobiles.

» Costa Rica, $2.98 billion (up 63%). Electronic integrated circuits (Intel has a major facility in Costa Rica) play a big role in imports from this nation. Imports of circuits rose 8,400% in 2010.